Thursday, April 26, 2012

What Smart Mentors Do

I don’t have one mentor, I have a galaxy of mentors.

Teachers, family members, coaches, advisers, guides, therapists, professors and industry veterans – who saw something in me that somebody once saw in them – generously took me under their wing, and shaped me into the person I am today.

Apparently, this is rare. I just assumed everybody had mentors. But when I started asking people who their mentors were, they looked at me like I was crazy.

For that reason, I made the decision to live my life as a thank you in perpetuity to the voices that shaped me. I began offering myself, for free, as a mentor to people who asked for help. After all, the best way to pay the world back is by paying it forward.

Later, I created a paid program called Rent Scott’s Brain. It started as a clever boundary setting tool for people who didn’t execute or respect my time, but slowly morphed into a key revenue stream and critical component of my enterprise. Now, it’s grown into a unique mentoring experience that extends the same inheritance I once received from my galaxy to the people who need it most.

And sometimes my mentoring happens in person, sometimes over the phone, sometimes via email or sometimes through another digital channel. But whatever medium I use with my clients, the method is the always same. It’s the process my mentors took with me, and it’s the process I take with my mentees.

And the best part is, it works. See the results executed by a few of my clients, William, Chrissy and Harlan.

Having been on both sides of the mentoring relationship for the past fifteen years, it’s not something you memorize, it’s something you personify. It’s not something you learn in a textbook, it’s something you practice in daily life. 

Here's what I tell my clients:

You bring me your brand, business, challenges, concerns, content, dilemmas, ideas, intuitions, questions, roadblocks, situations, stuck points, uncertainties and what ifs.

And I’ll offer my access, advice, attitude, counsel, creativity, ears, energy, enthusiasm, examples, experiences, feedback, honesty, hope, humor, insight, knowledge life lessons, mistakes, models, observations, opinions, passion, perspective, philosophy, presence, processes, questions, recommendations, reflections, reservoir, resources, selfhood, silliness, sounding board, stillness, stories, strength, thought process, time, truth, verbal mirror and wisdom.

In a space of acceptance, affirmation, candor, compassion, confidence, confidentiality, creativity, depth, enthusiasm, flexibility, fun, fundamental affirmation, gentle elbowing, honesty, humility, imperfection, intimacy, laser focus, learning, mutual respect, openness, patience, personal growth, playfulness, professionalism, relaxation, reasonable response time, responsive spirit, safety, spontaneity, transparency, trust and understanding.

Without any agenda pushing, bullshit, cloning, excuses, fixing, have-tos, formulas, judgment, musts, need-tos, prescriptions, scripts, shoulds or superimposing myself onto you.

And you will be accelerated, challenged, clarified, disturbed, energized, enlarged, expanded, heard, infected, inspired, invigorated, met where you are, more aware, motivated, nourished, pushed, questioned, refueled, reminded, renewed, stirred, strengthened, stretched, unblocked, uncomfortable and unleashed.

But I’m not your twelve-step sponsor, twenty-four hour hotline, accountability partner, babysitter, boss, codependent, doormat, easy button, editor, final authority, hand-holder, parent, pastor, permanent leaning post, physician, problem-solver, rabbi, secretary, soul mate, spouse or therapist.

So when we’re together, I will place ideas at your feet for your consideration and I will not lead you beyond where I’m living or have lived. I will be responsible to you, not responsible for you, and the onus is on you to be responsible to the wisdom provided. We will share the relationship, but you own the results. I will plant seeds and enable you to figure it out on your own, over time. And if you don’t act, you don’t grow. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. You drive the deliverables. You fully commit to this process. You reach out to me when you have a need.

And as a result, you will have productive dialogues with yourself. You will achieve my level of success without being my clone. You will propel your own momentum by mastering dependence avoidance, without being an island. You will build a kit for kicking your own ass. You will customize litmus tests and opportunity filters for give yourself permission. And you will never be alone in this journey.

That’s my process. That’s how I mentor.

It’s not easy, it’s not cheap and it’s not for everybody.

But if you find that process value valuable, if you would like to pursue a professional mentoring relationship, I would be delighted to be that person.

My brain will be standing by.

What have you declined this week?

For the list called, "21 Things I Learned While Spying on Myself," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

Do you need an expert who tells you what to do, or a mentor who lets you tell yourself what to do?

"After investing in your mentoring program, I've become centered on who I am and what I have to offer. Now, I am attracting clients I want to work with. Life is great and I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart." ----Melanie Jatsek, Diet Busters

Rent Scott's Brain today for 2 hours, 30 days or 3 months!